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What a smashing day I’ve had! I went for a long walk around the outside of Grangemoor Park – it was too squidgy underfoot to walk up the hill (and found some nice blooms for this week’s wildflowerhour), then walked home via the Ely embankment and Penarth Marina.

191218 blackcaps

Amongst the houses at the marina, I spotted a couple of Blackcaps, birds that usually migrate during our winter months (though I did see a male Blackcap in the same area last winter – perhaps the same bird, and one of its offspring – these were both males).

191218 black redstart (1)

While watching the Blackcaps, I noticed another small bird dotting about on the rooftops behind and was immediately on the alert, because I’ve been keeping an eye out for one of these since the winter began.

191218 black redstart (2)

I was trying to angle for a better look when it flew above me and on to the roof of a much taller building opposite. The light today was shocking and the bird now distant, three storeys up. I thought I knew what it was but, even using my binoculars, I couldn’t be sure. So, I took lots of photos and hurried home. Once I had the photos on my laptop and was able to crop and lighten them, I was certain – a Black redstart, a bird we don’t often see in my area, though one has visited the marina in winter before. Yay!!!